Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: I have a younger sibling who is disabled. After my parents, I am the only one who can take care of her. If I am to get married, how can I ensure that my spouse and in-laws will be willing to accept her as a part of my family? I wish to make this one of the conditions to the wedding, that she shall be my responsibility.

Answer: assalamu alaykum

This is something that you should be clear about when meeting a potential spouse/in-laws so that you can receive a clear answer regarding whether they are supportive and understanding of your sister’s condition and the circumstances surrounding her care.

From a legal perspective, you may stipulate in your marriage contract that you and your husband will both be responsible for the care of your sister. You should detail what this entails to avoid any future dispute: living with you and other related arrangements, financial aspects, and so forth. This condition would be sound and binding upon the husband due to the Qur’anic command to “fulfill your contracts” (5:1) and the prophetic tradition that “the Muslims are those who fulfill the conditions they stipulate.” [Abu Dawud] The principles of the Hanbali school also lend support to this since they deem stipulating conditions in the marriage contrast as valid. [Ibn Qudama, al-Mughni]

I have had this ruling confirmed by senior scholars, as well, such as al-Sharif Hatim al-Awni (God preserve him).

Salman

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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